Vinyl Asylum: REVIEW: Denon DL-103 Phono Cartridge by Ron-C
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Model: DL-103 Category: Phono Cartridge Suggested Retail Price: $220 Description: Moving coil, 0.4mV output, conical stylus Manufacturer URL: Denon Manufacturer URL: Denon
Review by Ron-C ( M ) on June 15, 2003 at 13:43:35
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I recently picked up a 103 from the web and paid $140.00. The reason I bought this was the strong web buzz on the 103. I am using a SP15 Technics on a large heavy base with a SME 3012 arm and dampening assembly using the large paddle. The head amp is a MCP-1 McIntosh.
The 103 was set up using the Hi Fi News and Record Review set up disk. Tracking was set so the third out of four test bands would be tracked. The 103 tracked the third band at 1.8g. and 1.5g. anti-skate. This was surprising as a V15 type 5 needs 1.25g. on the same band in the same arm.
The sound seems very even, flat and the image is stable, clear and open. This is on the 90 ohm setting of the head amp which sounds flatter than the lower ohm settings which are somewhat bass heavy.
Overall I am very impressed with the 103 in both sound and track-ability. I would not have believed a spherical needle could track this well and I can now play the mono long plays to boot.
A Technics SH-50P1 stylus pressure gage, Hi fi News protractor and McIntosh MPI scope were used in the set up of the arm.
The reputation of the Denon 103 seems to be warranted by this sample and the owner's manual makes a big deal about the, "High-reliability cartridge conforming to Specifications for Broadcasting Stations" in discussing the 103. They say every one is tested and adjusted to strictly conform to this standard.
I would give the 103 top recommendation for performance, ease of use, sound and value based on this sample.
Product Weakness: Not tweaky or expensive enough to have credibility with some users. Product Strengths: Even sound, track-ability, value.
Associated Equipment for this Review: Amplifier: Various Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): C22 C Sources (CDP/Turntable): Technics SP15 / SME 3012 Speakers: McIntosh / Senn. 600 phones Cables/Interconnects: Various Music Used (Genre/Selections): All Room Size (LxWxH): 16 x 24 x 9 Room Comments/Treatments: furnishings Time Period/Length of Audition: Week. Other (Power Conditioner etc.): none Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner
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Topic - REVIEW: Denon DL-103 Phono Cartridge - Ron-C 13:43:35 06/15/03 ( 10)
- Denon DL-103 Phono Cartridge - firstname.lastname@example.org 18:54:51 06/17/03 ( 0)
Denon DL-103 Phono Cartridge - belyin 08:13:13 06/16/03 ( 3) AA members should ask Denon to distribute in USA - spot1019 07:01:43 06/16/03 ( 1)
- You can buy DL103D from Denon USA's parts department - Rob Doorack 08:57:27 06/16/03 ( 0)
Denon DL-103 Phono Cartridge - soundbug1 06:47:25 06/16/03 ( 0)
worn records? - bangsezmax 23:10:41 06/15/03 ( 1)
- Re: worn records? - belyin 08:09:38 06/16/03 ( 0)